Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

Florida Gators basketball may – or may not – be without two of its best players this week when it participates in the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas beginning on Wednesday.

Redshirt juniors guard Eli Carter (foot sprain) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (hairline fractures in hand) both traveled with the Gators on Monday though Carter is not cleared to practice and Finney-Smith has been held out of team drills in order to rest his non-shooting hand as much as possible.

“We don’t play until Wednesday. I would say probably, by after our practice Tuesday, I’ll have a really good gauge of where those guys are at. I know that’s tomorrow, but I know right now both of those guys are not really cleared for practice,” head coach Billy Donovan said on Monday.

“My feeling right now going into this is we’re going to basically have the team we had playing against Louisiana-Monroe. That’s how I’m going into it right now, how I’m approaching it.”

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Florida G Eli Carter avoids serious foot injury

Florida Gators basketball received some good news Saturday when an MRI revealed that redshirt junior guard Eli Carter, who hurt himself late in practice on Thursday, has suffered a mid-foot sprain and not a dreaded Lisfranc injury.

The school announced the test results Saturday evening.

The second Florida starter dealing with an injury already this season, Carter missed Friday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe and could be seen on the bench with a big boot on his foot. Head coach Billy Donovan announced after the game that X-rays on Carter’s foot were negative for a break, but team doctors wanted to do an MRI to fully diagnose the issue.

“They’re concerned with a Lisfranc, whatever her name is or his name is, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of Lisfranc,” said Donovan. “They want to look in to, I think, rule that out, or it’s just a mid-foot sprain. If it’s [a Lisfranc], from what I’ve heard, it’s a pretty extensive time he’s going to be off. And if it’s the other one, then they’re hoping 8-10 days. … We’re just hoping that it’s not the other thing.”

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11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

No. 8 Florida Gators basketball (2-1) needed overtime to edge the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Injuries to a pair of key players depleted Florida’s depth chart, but the Gators were nevertheless able to come from 12 points down to defeat the Warhawks 61-56.

Head coach Billy Donovan met with the media after the game to discuss his high-level concerns about the Florida basketball team and two players who may be out for an extended period of time.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE GATORS?

Florida struggled mightily against Louisiana-Monroe, falling behind by 12 in the first half, needing a 15-0 run just to take a nine-point lead in the second half (despite UF being favored by 21 against ULM), coughing up an eight-point lead with last than two minutes remaining and barely squeaking by the visitors in overtime.

Donovan has repeated week after week that the Gators have a long way to go to be a truly capable and successful team this season, and he stuck with that opinion late Friday.

Continue Reading » 11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

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Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. UL-Monroe – Donovan trying to turn ‘I’ and ‘me’ into ‘we’


Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Doug Bell, Jon Sundvold)
Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 108/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 8 FLORIDA GATORS ULM WARHAWKS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Keith Richard
Record: 1-1 Record: 2-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Sun Belt

Odds: Florida -21 | O/U 131

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy since the last game? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!

Story: Chris Walker primed for 2014-15 season debut on Friday

MUST-READ PRIMER: Can the Gators keep it going with a rebuilt starting five?

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Florida F/C Chris Walker primed for 2014-15 debut

For the second time in as many seasons, sophomore forward/center Chris Walker is joining the Florida Gators (1-1) late as he is set to make his second-year debut on Friday against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-0).

Ahead of his freshman campaign, academic eligibility issues kept Walker out of action until the spring semester, and accusations of impermissible benefits forced him to sit a few more games. By the time Walker took the court for the first time on Feb. 4, 2014, he had not played in an organized basketball game in more than a year and was joining a well-oiled, third-ranked Florida squad that was already 19-2 on the season.

For those reasons, Walker’s impact was minimal. He averaged just 4.8 minutes per game and did not make much of a difference in most contests, though his size, athleticism and versatility certainly showed through at times.

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Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. Miami


Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPNU (Mark Jones, Stan Heath)
Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 136/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 8 FLORIDA GATORS MIAMI HURRICANES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Jim Larranaga
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast

Odds: Florida -8.5 | O/U 130

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!

Story: Dorian Finney-Smith suffers hairline fractures in hand, cleared to play
Notebook: Dillon Graham decides to transfer

MUST-READ PRIMER: Can the Gators keep it going with a rebuilt starting five?

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Florida G Dillon Graham decides to transfer

Buried on the depth chart and unlikely to get a significant opportunity to play for the Florida Gators this season, redshirt sophomore guard Dillon Graham has decided to transfer from the program at the conclusion of the fall semester.

Graham, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard who saw a total of 92 minutes of action in just 25 games in three seasons, has neither decided on a transfer destination nor what level of basketball he wishes to compete in following his time with the Gators.

“I want to thank my teammates, coaches and everyone else at UF for a great experience during my time here,” Graham said in a statement released by the school. “Even though I am moving on to the next chapter in my life and my basketball career, I will always have positive memories from my years with the Gators.”

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Gators F Dorian Finney-Smith diagnosed with hairline fracture in non-shooting hand

Updated on Sunday at 11 p.m.

No. 7 Florida Gators basketball (1-0) may be without the reigning SEC Sixth Man of the Year for its Monday showdown with the Miami Hurricanes (1-0) as the program announced Saturday that redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his left, non-shooting hand.

Finney-Smith suffered the injury – initially believed to be a sprain – early in Florida’s 68-45 win over William & Mary on Friday. After heading to the locker room for tests and a wrap, he returned to the court and led the Gators with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go along with five rebounds, a steal and an assist.

X-rays were done after the game, but the results were not released until Saturday. On Sunday, head coach Billy Donovan noted that Finney-Smith has “two hairline fractures on two fingers,” though the injury should not affect his ability to play if he feels up to it.

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